(CNN) — This weekend, the nation honors those fallen heroes killed while helping to protect the country.
The military is also making sure to recognize these service members’ families including a special set of activities Friday night at the Pentagon.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter welcomed a very group on this Memorial Day weekend at one of the most secure and closely guarded buildings in the world. The Pentagon opened up its doors to the families of those who have lost their lives serving their nation.
For one night, the corridors of power transformed into a playground for the very smallest who have made the very biggest of sacrifices — many losing a military parent.
Some of these children were born after their parent died, like 11-year-old Grace Hufstedler, whose father was killed by an IED in Iraq in 2004. “It’s good to see her happy,” said her mother and widow Leslie Hufstedler Alvarez. “As she’s grown older, she’s started to grieve more. She never had that experiene when she was younger and so it’s nice to see her with other kids.”